LEAD ARTICLE: COMMENTARY: WHAT BURDENS RELIGION? MUSINGS ON TWO RECENT CASES INTERPRETING THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT (RFRA) Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your lexis.com® ID to access the full text of this article.
-OR-
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a lexis.com® ID.
 
Price: 
US $22.00 (+ tax)
 
 

Copyright (c) 2010 Great Plains Natural Resources Journal
Great Plains Natural Resources Journal

LEAD ARTICLE: COMMENTARY: WHAT BURDENS RELIGION? MUSINGS ON TWO RECENT CASES INTERPRETING THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT (RFRA)

Spring, 2010

Great Plains Natural Resources Journal

13 Great Plains Nat. Resources J. 1

Author

Thomas F. King+

Excerpt



I. INTRODUCTION: NAVAJO NATION, COMANCHE NATION, BABYLONIANS, AND ROMANS
 
In 587 BCE, the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, killing many of its inhabitants, destroying Solomon's Temple and carrying off many Israelites to captivity by the rivers of Babylon. 1 In 70 CE, the Roman general (later emperor) Titus did an even more thorough job on the city, the people, and Herod's Temple, dispersing the Jewish population far and wide. 2 The question I ask here is: if the U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act 3 (hereinafter RFRA) had applied to the eastern Mediterranean when these events occurred, and had a U.S. court of law tried their perpetrators, would an American court have found them guilty?

Such an absurd hypothetical question arises - in my mind, anyway - because of two recent cases involving "cultural resources;" one in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the other in the Tenth Circuit, specifically the District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The Ninth Circuit case was Navajo Nation et al v. United States Forest Service et al, 4 while the case in the Oklahoma district court was Comanche Nation v. United States of America. 5

II. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COMANCHE NATION AND NAVAJO NATION
 
Before beginning, it is necessary to examine the core provisions of RFRA. The act reads:


 
(a) Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability...[except that]...

(b) Government may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion ...
 
 
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.
Search Documents
 
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy
 
 
 
 

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

 
LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to lexis.com
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities